Any open spaces between your teeth can lead to shifting of the adjacent teeth. Missing teeth can also lead to deterioration of your jawbone, so it’s important to restore a gap with an artificial tooth as soon as you can. The most common tooth replacement solutions are dental implants and dental bridges.
What’s the Difference Between Dental Implants and Dental Bridges?
A dental bridge spans a space left by a missing tooth to hold your other teeth in place. A dental implant requires a simple procedure, and most patients report little to no discomfort. An implant does the same thing and prevents receding of the jawbone.
Cosmetics: A dental implant is designed to closely resemble your own natural teeth both functionally and aesthetically. As such, dental implants are a more consistent, attractive option for many patients. Dental bridges are another popular option, but because bridges require cementing three crowns across your natural teeth, the look and feel isn’t as realistic as a dental implant.
Time Frame: A dental implant replaces the missing tooth/teeth, which can make it a lifetime solution. While a bridge may be an “immediate fix,” it requires the dentist to cut down the adjacent teeth, which permanently removes healthy tooth structures.
Lifespan: While a dental implant can last a lifetime, the lifespan of a bridge is only eight to ten years, according to the American Dental Association.
Complications: Dental implants require a simple surgical procedure to place the implant, which can lead to few—if any—complications. However, this is why patients choose Nevada Oral & Facial Surgery. But because dental bridges often need continual replacements, natural teeth can become weaker and more vulnerable to periodontal disease. A dental bridge requires eradication of much of your existing tooth structure, causing you to lose a lot of healthy tissue. This can lead to devitalization and loss of more teeth.
Maintenance: Dental implants don’t affect surrounding teeth, so you can care for them as if they’re natural. Implants are also resistant to decay and gum disease. Because dental bridges cover multiple teeth, they pose challenges when brushing, and especially when flossing.
Cost: Dental implants are similar in cost to dental bridges, but dental implants can be more resilient over time. Bridges often need repair every decade or so, making implants more cost-effective in the long run.
When to Get Dental Bridges vs. Dental Implants
How Do You Make the Tough Call On Which Route to Take?
Consider it this way: While dental bridges are initially a little less expensive, dental implants will provide you with a stronger, more permanent tooth that could last a lifetime. You can read more about our dental implant procedure here for additional pros and cons.
Specific circumstances may indicate which tooth replacement procedure is best for you, such as whether you already have crowns on either side of a tooth gap. Or perhaps your gum and bone have started to degenerate, also called atrophy, and you’ll need a bone graft or sinus lift.
Consult our board-certified oral and facial surgeons to identify your most efficient and reliable tooth replacement options. We’ll help you navigate all the finances, risks, and complications. Call Nevada Oral and Facial Surgery at 702-360-8918 to schedule a complimentary evaluation.